Gijon Sprint Duathlon – Change Running Shoes Or Use Straps

Two-time Ironkids national champion Kiersten I...

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Opening a debate here:

I’m doing a sprint duathlon ie 5:20:2.5km. Is it worth bothering to change shoes? Does it save time and reduce risk by using straps on the bike with racing shoes?

For longer events I tend to use my trainers (rather than racing shoes) to provide cushioning for my delicate legs (!) which would not otherwise last 10km however trainers will not fit into my straps so there I have no option but to use bike shoes. In any case, surely over a longer / standard distance duathlon changing shoes between disciplines makes sense as it clearly saves time because of more efficient pedalling.

Over a shorter distance ie 5km + 2.5km = 7.5km of running in total then I can use my racing shoes (as most of you will normally anyway). These WILL fit into straps.

Not changing shoes could save me up to a minute (generously) over two changes in total – taking into account: a faster and easier dismount; the run with the bike; as well as the physical act of changing shoes. Would I make this up with a 20km bike ride? What’s that, let’s say a 20km bike ride takes 30 minutes, so the 1 minute saving is about 4%?

Would proper bike shoes make that 4% saving alone? Remember straps are not that bad. But also remember that pedaling with straps might cause more tiredness in some muscle groups as the technique is not smoothed out so much.  Sounds like it might not be worth changing and using straps?

What do you think.